Close Brothers Invoice Finance survey reveals businesses are losing personal touch

Only 16% of UK small business owners prefer to conduct face to face meetings

The Close Brothers ‘Business Barometer’, a quarterly survey that canvasses the opinions of UK small business owners and business managers on a range of topical issues, found that just 16% of UK workers prefer to meet face-to-face with colleagues, clients and suppliers.

Half choose to keep in touch with clients and colleagues via email and a further 22% would rather conduct business by phone.

Almost 40% of bosses questioned in the ‘Business Barometer’ survey claimed they are too busy for face-to-face meetings and as technology evolves, there are countless ways to communicate, many of which are more cost and time-efficient than meeting in person.

Video conferencing for example, can help cut the cost of travel expenses, and email and telephone can certainly be highly effective for day-to-day conversations.

However, while it may seem more convenient or efficient to send an email or make a call, the value of face-to-face interactions with clients should not be forgotten.

Face-to-face meetings are a great opportunity to get to know your clients better and find out what makes them tick, and you’re more likely to find out what the client’s motivations, concerns and business challenges are face-to-face rather than over email.

Meeting in-person also gives you the chance to discover your client’s personality, both professionally and personally, which will help you understand how to provide the best service as well as build trust and establish a long-term relationship.

With everyday pressures it’s all too easy to skim read information and misinterpret an email. Discussing complex information and decisions face-to-face can also help avoid any misunderstandings.

For any small business, it’s important to get the right balance between convenient technology-based communication and the personal touch of face-to-face meetings.


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